Council needs to “come clean” about the extent of its resourcing problems
Another day and another raft of missed bin collections.
Mostly the failures are down to inadequate staffing, unreliable vehicles and full lorries.
Yet the Council has so far failed to say when replacement vehicles will arrive in the city.
…and there is a growing suspicion that other services are being depleted in a desperate attempt to plug the gaps in the waste collection service. One estate still has litter strewn around from collections which took place weeks ago.
Keeping estates clean and tidy until recently was the responsibility of estate workers. There was one in each major neighbourhood. They were sometimes styled as estate “handymen” and part of their duties was to repair minor items of street furniture. They were funded from rents.
They helped to keep neighbourhoods in good condition and would
often be seen in the area proactively dealing with issues.
The Council recently decided to get rid of the role with responsibilities
transferred to a mobile team. Since the
change, there has been a noticeable drop in standards. This seems mainly to be due
to the fact that, rather than routinely patrol areas looking to address issues before
they were widely noticed, the new approach is mainly “reactive”.
That is the staff respond to complaints.
Many will remember fondly the last decade when the Council, for
a time, employed “lengthsmen” to give local roads that extra bit of care. They achieved
more in improving standards than mechanical sweeping alone could provide.
That sadly also is a now thing of the past.
The drop in standards has been an increasing concern for residents
associations. The issue has been drawn to the attention of Executive Councillors
who have responsibility for service quality. There has been little response so
Unless the Council publishes an acceptable service standard contract
for activities like these – the core of its work as a public authority – then
it is likely that volunteer efforts will tail off.
That would be a great shame as whole communities would suffer.
With shorter days, the reliability of street lighting will once again become a priority. No doubt local Councillors will be undertaking a sweep of their wards checking for faults. Residents also may want to report issues. Generally faulty bulbs are replaced quickly if reported via the Councils “on line” site https://www.york.gov.uk/reportproblems (click)
A set of goal posts have disappeared from the playing field to the rear of Westfield Place.
The removal follows a series of actions by the York Council which has seen sports facilities eroded in what is York’s poorest neighbourhood. The sports field at Lowfields has been built on, the multi user games area closed and a (private) bowling green sold for housing.
No consultation took place before the set of goalpost were removed.
One set remains. The ward committee had been expected to arrange for the posts to be repainted, and the pitch remarked, before the start of the football season.
Residents have called on local Councillors to intervene to ensure that weeds growing on local paths and gutters are cleared. Today’s weather, damp and warm, is likely to see the problem get worse over the weekend.
In the little Green Lane garage area grass is now growing through the recently resurfaced forecourt. It is a similar situation in Windsor Garth
Despite several requests for a root cause analysis of, and action to address, littering hot-spots problems continue to grow. There are particular issues on routes used by some students on their way to and from school (although this may be a coincidence).
Hot-spots include snickets and bus stops.
We believe that the Council should increase its surveillance of such locations and issue penalty charge notices to offenders.